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Gary Novosielski

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Everything posted by Gary Novosielski

  1. Well, more to the point, is there anything in the bylaws about removing that status? The bylaws must say something about that status, or it would not exist. If they provide conditions for life membership, and those conditions continue to exist (inlcuding, presumably "life"), then I don't think they would need language protecting it. I'm pretty sure most people would think that bestowing life membership status means that a person would maintain that status for life, unless the bylaws said otherwise.
  2. No, that's not the key, since anyone can be absent or abstain on any vote. The key is realizing that a tie vote, since it is less than a majority, defeats the motion just as soundly as if everyone voted No. It does not mean there is no resolution. It means that the motion is defeated. That is a definite resolution of the question, with an answer of No.
  3. How did this person become a life member?
  4. And even if it were not included in the minutes, there's nothing to prevent Mr. X from agreeing to it anyway.
  5. According to RONR, an agenda isn't really required. And if you are given an agenda but don't formally adopt it, it has no binding effect either. Just follow the regular order of business. Any votes taken are valid as long as the meeting was properly called and a quorum is present.
  6. If the members of the board of selectmen are invited guests at your committee meeting, then the chair of the committee would, as always, chair the committee meeting.
  7. Well, I suppose a rule that debate cannot (normally) be reopened could be considered in the nature of a suspendable rule of order. But whether it requires unanimous consent, or a 2/3 vote, or is in order at all, even with a unanimous vote is difficult to determine, since such a motion is not among those listed in the Work. In any case, since the motion to reopen nominations is clearly available, and by a mere majority vote at that, it would seem to be the preferred path to reach a parliamentary situation where debate is in order. While I still question whether debate could commence in the absence of any additional nominations, I would expect that once debate begins, there is no reason to limit it to discussion of the new nominees, since comparisons to earlier nominees would certainly be germane.
  8. I don't think I was clear, then. If nominations are reopened, which would require only a majority vote, debate on the nominees would certainly be in order.
  9. That's not how I interpreted what Dan said. And as for me, I believe that if no member wishes to offer an additional nomination, then there is nothing more to debate. I think the best course of action when a ballot is inconclusive is simply to have another ballot. Debate at that point is unlikely to be useful. Voters in subsequent rounds are far more likely to be swayed by knowing the results of the ballot before than they are by listening (again) to the opinions of other voters. The latter can only persuade us how the speakers wish we would vote, which we likely already know.. The results of the last ballot tell us how the entire assembly of people actually did vote. And the results of the second ballot, even if still inconclusive, is likely to be more informative than the first. Only by offering additional nominations does the question before the voters actually change. So I favor the strictest interpretation consistent with RONR, that the reopening of debate (but not nominations) ought to require unanimous consent. I fear the wrath when I say "ought to", because one's role here is not to suggest what RONR ought to say, but to discern what it does say. In this case, it doesn't quite say.
  10. So, if they bylaws do not say that the non-voting member cannot vote, the non-voting member can vote?
  11. No members? Must be pretty quiet, except for the crickets.
  12. Your bylaws probably could have broken up that little monopoly. If they don't establish an "executive committee" then no such committee exists. And even when they do, their power is usually limited. Of course if there are three on one side of an issue and only two on the other, the three are going to be able to do pretty much as they please, but not violate the bylaws. It sounds like your best defense would be to (quick like a rabbit) gain a working knowledge of RONR and practice repeating the phrase "Please show me the rule that grants you that authority." Presidents can't break a tie if they've already voted once, by the way. One person--one vote. Illegal? We don't do legal here--not even those among us (not me) who are lawyers
  13. Well, there could still be a problem if they continue to have tie votes, but if the method of selection is an election (and I don't see why it shouldn't be) then things might go easier. For example, if only one candidate is nominated, that candidate could be elected by acclamation. If two or more are nominated, or if there are write-in votes, then the standard advice is appropriate: Keep voting until someone gets a majority, or people get tired of the process and change sides, or someone from one contingent or the other has to go to the loo.
  14. What surprises me is that the practice of the secretary casting a single ballot is a more durable myth than the tooth fairy, yet with considerably less evidence.
  15. Your organization is making an error in believing that if RONR is not follwed to the letter, the actions taken would somehow be overturned or draw legal action. This is rarely the case, and in the cases where it is true, I'm sure I would not want them to be changed, in any organization I belonged to. By changing "govern" to "guide", you are effectively saying that no matter how egregiously the rights of members may be trampled in your worst nightmare scenario, you simply don't care. There is no recourse, because after all, the rules were only a "guide".
  16. There would still be a need for nominations "at the last minute" (i.e, from the floor), because RONR requires it. You'd also have to outlaw that in your bylaws, which I think all of us would recommend against.
  17. No, it would be best if they would not use the word slate at all, and simply say what they wanted the committee to do, plainly and clearly.
  18. Apparently, your president does not have the authority to cancel the meeting even WITH a vote by the full board, if your bylaws are as you describe them. If your bylaws are silent on canceling meetings, then there is no way to cancel a meeting.
  19. It's neither and both, but how it shakes out in your case is going to be up to your society to try to anticipate. As for me, I am loath to tinker with the rules in RONR without a very good reason.
  20. Do your bylaws actually contain language that states that you do, in fact, have an executive board in the first place? Or did someone just make it up, and start having meetings?
  21. I'm hesitant to attempt an answer because I'm not sure what an executive board of a committee is. If it's actually a committee we're talking about (and not the executive board of the organization itself), the chair can call a meeting, and once called, anyone who shows up can validly meet, even if the chair then decides not to show. If the chair is unwilling to schedule meetings, any two committee members can do so. Once the committee meets, they they (by majority vote) can decide when to schedule future meetings.
  22. No, you don't round at all. Two thirds of 7 is 4 2/3 (not 4.6). So that's how many votes you need. Count the votes, and if there are 4 2/3or more then it passes. Clearly, four votes are less than that, while five votes are more, so it takes five.
  23. No, it was not immoral, unethical, or (presumably) illegal, but it certainly was improper. Ask yourself why you would vote to approve a financial report that had not been properly audited. Suppose fraud were detected later, and you were on record as agreeing with it.
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